Students’ Union 2016-17 budget approved
This afternoon, the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union board of directors approved the operating budget for the 2016-17 year.
The board approved the budget with six in favour, none opposed and one abstention.
The first major motion was the approval of a one-time payment of $35,000 to go towards the Students’ Union debt. This one-time payment will bring their debt-free date up to November 2025, originally set to March 2026, if they do not make any more one-time payments.
The operating budget was passed within 40 minutes of the start of the meeting, much to the pleasure of Tyler Van Herzele, incoming president and chief executive officer of the Students’ Union.
“It’s good to know that the preparation behind the budget and all the hours going into discussion over where we can improve things, where more money needs to go, where we need to cut back, all that panned out really evenly,” Van Herzele said.
“There wasn’t too much discussion on a lot of the issues, so I was really pleased with the budget [approval] this year.”
One of the largest changes was a $6,000 decrease in the budget for Winter Carnival because the Union expects fewer participants next year. Revenue and expenses remain on par, but less will be spent due to fewer people participating.
The Students’ Union is also projecting that Turret Nightclub will make $55,000 less next year due to less sales on Saturday nights, while Wilf’s is expected to double its profits by next year.
Both Van Herzele and Marley Wildish, incoming vice-president of finance and administration, had answers for nearly every question that arose when looking over the incoming budget.
When asked for clarification on the miscellaneous line, however, Van Herzele and Wildish struggled to come up with concrete answers as to what that line referred to.
“There’s been quite a few changes this year and with changes comes discussion,” Van Herzele said.
Colin Aitchison, chair of the board and chief governance officer, commented on how he thought the board did this year in terms of strategic planning. According to Aitchison, strategic planning was brought into fruition, unlike previous years.
This is also the first year that the current board has approved the incoming budget. In previous years, the new board approved the budget at their first meeting of the year.